Sunderland have completed their first signing of the summer after landing Reading youngster Greg Halford in a £3million deal.
Halford, 22, only signed for the Royals in January but was given permission to speak to Sunderland manager Roy Keane.
Reading paid Colchester United a club record £2million to land the versatile defender, who can also play in midfield and up front.
Halford had been linked with a host of other top-flight clubs before moving to the Madejski Stadium during the last transfer window.
However, due to Reading's excellent form he struggled to break into the first-team picture and made just three appearances.
Royals boss Steve Coppell had claimed the former England Under-20 international was part of his long-term plans.
He said back in March: "I'm sure Greg is desperate to make his debut, but when he signed I said he wasn't a 14-game signing, he was a three or four-year prospect.
"He was bought to play, not sit on the sidelines but sometimes you have got to be patient."
But after putting pen to paper on a four-year contract, Halford revealed he jumped at the chance to join the Black Cats ahead of their return to the Premier League.
"It's great to be here. The set-up at Sunderland is phenomenal and I can't wait to get going," he told the club's official website.
"I've had a taste of the Premiership with Reading and I want more."